Your April Polyglot


The Digital Polyglot

A publication of the Inland Empire World Language Association since 1985

April, 2014

Editor - Bethany Thompson
Asst. Editor - Trini Rios


  • IEFLA Common Core Workshop, May 3
  • Le Poisson d'Avril
  • IEFLA/CASLA Honors Reception
  • Annette Baine and Susan Kratofil receive study abroad grants
  • Arabic Summer Intensive Language Program
  • Tech Corner
  • IEFLA Members Present at CLTA Conference
  • Get them talking!
  • Spice up your Vocabulary Practice
  • Go All Harry Wong
  • Food People
  • Dear Poly



IEFLA Common Core Workshop

For World Language Teachers

On May 3, 2014, IEFLA will be presenting "Keeping it Positive & Personal:  Language Activities and Strategies to Support Common Core Goals and Meaningful Language Acquisition"with Cynthia Leathers. Cynthia Leathers is a recently retired Spanish teacher from Orange County who has been named California Outstanding Teacher. In addition, in her retirement she has taken new role as Single Subject Credential Advisor/Coordinator, Languages Other Than English, California State University, Long Beach.

Common Core power standards are pushing language teachers away from rote memorization and worksheets and toward meaningful language experiences. World language teachers have many challenges in today’s classroom and this workshop will provide them with routines, strategies, activities, and assessments that will help capture positive energy and support each student in becoming an engaged, responsible 21st century learner.

$30 IEFLA Members    $45 Non-members, California State University, San Bernardino, 8:00 am –  3:00 pm Workshop.  Handouts and lunch included.For additional information and registration go to



Le Poisson d’Avril

Ready to have some fun with your students? 
Here’s a ideas including this month’s YouTube Clip of Les Têtes à Claques Le Poisson d’Avril.

Poissons à colorizer at
Origines du Poisson d’Avril at


IEFLA/CASLA 14th Annual Honors Reception

IEFLA and the Cal State San Bernardino Center for the Advancement of Second Language Acquisition will be sponsoring an Honors Reception to recognize outstanding foreign language students. Forty teachers have nominated students to be recognized as outstanding world language students. The students will be honored on Wednesday, April 23, 2014.

There will be a reception with tasty snacks followed by the recognition ceremony. Each student will be honored and receive a certificate. In addition, they will have the opportunity to meet college professors.


Two Inland Empire Teachers Receive CLTA Study Abroad Grants



Annette Baine to Study in France

Annette Baine has been teaching all levels of French at Rim of the World High School for thirteen years. She is enthusiastic in her teaching and always looking for innovative ways to expose her students to the French language and culture. Annette has traveled extensively thoughtout France and other parts of the French-speaking world. Using these expreiences, she is able to make the language come alive by supplementing her instruction with French literature, music, art, and cuisine. She truly believes in teaching beyond the classroom. Through fundraising she has been able to offer her students the opportunity to travel to France.

This grant by the French government will provide Annette the ability to enhance the experience of her students through the French language. The grant covers her tuition and room and board. In addition, she received a LangAbroad Grant from CLTA which will help with her airfare.



Susan Kratofil to Study in Quebec

Susan Kratofil has taught multiple levels of French at Oak Hills High School since 2009. As a teacher she has excellent rapport with her students, and her teaching strategies are creative and innovative. Her instruction is communicative, and she constantly strives to improve and vary her techniques in order to maximize learning for her students. Susan demonstrates qualities that are genuine, enthusiastic, and very compassionate when working with students.

The opportunity to study in Quebec during the summer will enhance Susan's language skills and increase her knowledge of French Canadian culture, customs, music, and history. She looks forward to bringing back materials such as books, videos, and games to be shared with her students. The grant covers her tuition and room and board. In addition, she received a LangAbroad Grant from CLTA which will help with her airfare.


Arabic Summer Language Intensive Program at Callifornia State University, San Bernardino

For High School Students and College Students

June 18 - August 7, 2014

Study Arabic language and culture for 7 life-changing weeks this summer.

The Arabic Summer Language Intensive Program at CSUSB offers a unique opportunity to develop Arabic language skills that will enrich your life and jump-start your résumé!

High school students can enroll and earn college credits for Arabic at a fraction of the tuition cost when compared to college students.

The Arabic language is taught in context by exposing students to real-life situations and building their confidence in expressing themselves in Arabic. In addition, they will gain understanding and appreciation for the historical, cultural, social and geographic aspects of the Arab world. There is classroom instruction, lab work, activities such as dance, calligraphy and music, as well as field trips are all important elements of the program.

Please note that instruction and required activities take place from 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturdays. In order to maximize the benefit of the intensive summer language experience, all students are encouraged but not required to live in the campus-provided, fully- furnished, modern housing facilities under supervision. The four-room suites include fully-equipped kitchens and living rooms. Internet, lounge areas and swimming are available. Participants who require special accommodations should discuss their needs with the program coordinator.

Contact Information:
For more information about the application call Georgia Pallas at 909-537-7135
For information about the program call Dr. Dany Doueiri at 310-392-3482

Download flyer to share with your students.


Tech Corner 

Each month we will explore a different aspect of technology that can help you in your classroom.  This month:  Thinglink is a free website that allows you to create media rich documents by inserting videos, text and pictures onto an image.  Not sure how you might use this interesting tool? has a document of 73 Interesting Ways to Use Thinglink in the classroom.




IEFLA Members Present Workshops at CLTA Conference

The CLTA Conference featured more than 100 workshops and interest sessions. And the Inland Empire was well represented with six presenters sharing their expertise!

Oraib Mango (IEFLA Board Member) presented an interest session, "iPads in the Language Classroom."

Danielle Farve of Desert Hot Springs High School presented an interest session on "Authentic Virtual Resources."

Bethany Thompson (Polyglot Editor) and Gretchen Peratt of Apple Valley High School presented a six-hour workshop, "Google Docs for the Computer Novice," and a three-hour workshop "Google Docs: Beyond Documents and Presentations.

"Svetlana Lazarova (IEFLA Vice President) of Palm Springs High School and Adrian Torres of Xavier College Preparatory High School presented a two day workshop "Addressing the Common Core Competencies in the World Language Curriculum and Instruction."


Get them talking!


You can download the picture here:

Level 1:  Have them ask questions about the pictures using Amy Lenord’s Question Crunch

Level 2/3:  Have students compare and contrast of the present and past using the imperfect tense.

Level 3: Have students talk about what she did, and would have done differently in her life.  Or have students write a letter from her younger self to her older self giving advice in the future tense.  “You will meet a man in the subway.  He will be the love of your life.  Do not forget to get his phone number!”

Spice Up Your Vocabulary Practice

Are you starting to feel stuck in a rut with your vocabulary practice?  Want some new ideas, or just review ideas you haven’t used in a while?  Check out Señorita Thompson’s page and see which ones you can throw into the mix. 

Go All Harry Wong

Do you greet your students at the door à la Harry Wong?  The Creative Language Class offers some great ideas to get students to produce something other than “bien” as they come in the door. 

Food People

Turn your food unit into a review of the body parts as well by having students make a body out of food.



Dear Poly

Each month Poly responds to your questions.  Do you have a question for Poly?  Submit your question by filling in the form here.

Dear Poly,

Help!  What do I do when I ask a question and no one answers?  Or if it’s always the same students who raise their hands

Vexed in Victorville

Dear Vexed

Don’t worry every teacher has been there where they ask the question and then dead silence.  First, you need make sure that the students understand what you’re doing and asking.  Check for understanding by going back and asking simpler questions.  The easiest level of question (level 1) is the yes/no question. You can get a group response from the whole class. Then the next level of question(level 2) is the either/or question. Then the level 3 question is a short answer question. (who, what, where, when). Level 4 could be a question like how, why, compare.

If you’re sure that they understand what you’re asking then go to step two.  Ask the question. Have the students raise their hands and wait a minimum of 10 seconds before you call on someone to answer.  This will allow students who don’t process as fast a chance to raise their hand.  Count it out.  It will seem like an eternity!  Lastly, choose a system for randomly choosing students.  You can use index cards, or names on popsicle sticks or poker chips or checkmarks on your seating chart, but randomly call on some students.  Mix it up and use half volunteers and half randomly chosen.  If they all get the answer right then you know they were just being shy.  If the answers are all wrong then you know to go back and reteach.


Do you have a question for Poly?  Submit your question by filling in the form here.


The Polyglot is a publication of the Inland Empire Foreign Language Association. For questions or comments, contact Bethany Thompson, editor, or Trini Rios, Would you like to help with the Polyglot? Contact Bethany Thompson, editor, at